atelier-r reconstruction and extension of a religious building in Olomouc


BoysPlayNice ,

Czech Republic,


The atelier-r architecture studio has completed an important renovation project for the city of Olomouc. In a perfect blend of history and innovation, the architects have preserved the original appearance of the "Red Church", an important historic building, while at the same time expanding it to offer new functions and to restore a new and important point of social aggregation to the cultural life of the city.

atelier-r reconstruction and extension of a religious building in Olomouc

The Red Church, an architectural jewel of the city of Olomouc, has returned to new life thanks to the renovation project completed by the atelier-r studio. Used as a book depository for the Research Library of the Region of Olomouc since 1959, this magnificent Lutheran church has been completely closed to the public for many years.
Thanks to the initiative of the owner, the Olomouc Region, and the atelier-r studio, the historic building has been restored to city life and will now be used to host cultural and social events.
The main objective of the project was, in fact, to combine the overall reconstruction of the existing historical building with the creation of spaces suitable for concerts, public readings, conferences and art exhibitions, as well as an information centre for the new library.

The state of the building required significant intervention, a complete renovation due to the precarious condition of the church. It was necessary to strengthen the foundations, repair the damage caused by humidity, restore the stucco and plaster, work on the façade to fill some gaps in the cladding and, finally, the most critical and important intervention, reconstruct the roof. The supporting structure of the roof was, in fact, seriously damaged by weather and was in danger of collapsing at any time. The atelier-r studio faced this challenge with great commitment.
The architects chose, where possible, to preserve the original elements. The new roof was therefore made with copper squares that faithfully reproduce the shape and format of the original, while for the decorative elements that were lost over the years, internationally renowned sculptor Jan Dostal was asked to create contemporary works that could integrate perfectly with the original aesthetics of the church.

To perform the functions required by the new uses of the Red Church, the atelier-r studio designed an extension, a new building located between the church and the library. While respecting the pre-existing architectural context, the architects were inspired by the neo-Gothic form of the church. The walls and the opaque black aluminium roof of the new volume create a crystal-like image that harmoniously integrates with the surrounding environment. The atelier-r studio collaborated with Denisa Strmiskova Studio for the interior design, creating a fascinating and contemporary space that welcomes visitors, capturing their attention with some carefully studied elements such as the majestic backlit wall of books. The project was completed by the new visual identity of the Library created by the KOSATKO graphic studio.
Overall, the project created by the atelier-r studio for the reconstruction of the Red Church represents a perfect example of how it is possible to preserve and enhance historical heritage, while enriching it with new functions that meet contemporary needs.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy atelier-r of photo by BoysPlayNice

Studio: atelier-r www.atelier-r.cz
Author : Miroslav Pospíšil, lead architect
Co-author Daria Johanesová, architect, lead project manager

Client Olomouc Region - Olomouc Research Library
Project location: Olomouc, Czech Republic

Completion year: 2023
Built-up Area: 606 m² (418 m² church, 188 m² new building)

Photographer BoysPlayNice, www.boysplaynice.com
Collaborator Interior design: Denisa Strmisková Studio
Graphic design: Studio KOSATKO
Steel artefacts: Jan Dostál
General contractor: Company Červený kostel [associations of companies STRABAG and OHLA ŽS]
Interior furnishings contractor: Prosto Interiér